Notice To Blairites 3 / Think Tanks
So, you thought a "think tank" is a bunch of brainy academic people gathered together to apply their enormous combined brain power to sort out arrays of human problems.
Little did you know that the bulk of them are, in fact, corporate propaganda units peopled by blinkered fundamentalists of various persuasions committed to distorting perceptions of political and economic reality to whatever end their corporate paymasters might wish.
Milton Friedman, infamous economic dogmatist known for his eagerness to interfere in and experiment with third world economies, opined that “...only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change”.
This meant of course, that crises could and should be manufactured in order to precipitate changes already “prepped” and ready to go. Egging on his equally infamous friend Henry “Out of my righteous and murderous way” Kissinger, the pair of them masterminded governmental collapses, assassinations, mass executions, and dictatorial takeovers. The divine right of the all-knowing gods they presumed themselves to be gave them unhindered license then to impose their crude monetary policies - to the further detriment of the world's poor.
But that's another story. points out that much of the economic mayhem of the 70s was triggered by Nixon's abandonment of the post war Bretton Woods international agreement. Brought on largely by the catastrophic US intervention in Viet Nam, this produced the very “crisis” that Friedman and co were looking for. When Thatcher/Reagan rode into power on the promise of sorting all the mayhem out, the stage was set for the wholesale plundering of all public assets and the tectonic shift of wealth from the working and middle classes into the ready and waiting clutches of the already very rich. Owen Jones
Where was this “prepping” taking place? It was all happening in the renowned “think tanks” very much in place at the time. These were lavishly funded by corporate interests which, with psychopathic intensity, were slavishly pursuing their “bottom lines” (see Bottom Liners) to the total exclusion of all else. With tax deductible corporate cash pouring into their coffers, these “think tanks” were more than ready to serve those corporate interests to the best of their abilities.
Staffed and led by an ill-begotten assortment of snouts (see We The Grunts), these tanks were not the hotbed of informed discussion and careful research that their names implied.
They were and still are, pure and simple, propaganda units.
Chief among these was the “Centre for Policy Studies”, a grotesque menagerie or rabid fundamentalists set up by Thatcher and her side-kick Keith Joseph. Sounding very much like a home for intelligent debate, it was in fact nothing more than a lobbying machine. Like the “Adam Smith Institute”, it masqueraded as source of neutral academic reasoning such that it's opinions (that's all they were) could be presented by corporate mass media as logical outcomes of painstaking studies.
The corporate “drain stream” media's enthusiasm for doing this was the other instrumental element to the paradigmatic shift of opinion ushered in by Thatcher/Reagan. Supported at every turn by the likes of the “Institute of Economic Affairs”, the “Freedom Association”, the “European Foundation”, and the truly obscene “Taxpayers' Alliance”, and touted throughout the mass media as the voices of reason, these two idiot world leaders led an unprecedented assault on the common good.
humanity's last hope
It was bad enough for the world economy that these two clowns had all the airplay they needed to extol the virtues of their blinkered corporate policies. But they also trundled into power at the very point of humanity's last hope for a concerted effort to deflect some of the worst excesses of planetary degradation.
That part of the educated first world which wasn't relentlessly pursuing personal wealth to the exclusion of all else knew this was our last chance. As Thatcher/Reagan set about dismantling economic safeguards and initiating corporate profit-generating wars and “defence” mechanisms, the respective national debts (interest upon which you and I are paying) rose astronomically and credit booms fuelled the “feel good factor” as we accelerated our way past the point of no return and into oblivion.
But, as Thatcher has so often trumpeted, the political/economic landscape had changed sufficiently for incoming “left-ish” governments to find that they were too uncourageous and too dumb to try to turn anything around. Instead, they went along with the “reasoning” of these shoddy “think tanks”.
Instead of exposing the tanks as the propaganda units they are and establishing proper think tanks which might usefully look into some of the issues of the day, "New Labour" simply lay down, let the status quo roll over them, and pocketed the proceeds.
* "Our greatest achievement was Tony Blair."
Thus spake reviled ex Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to a gathering of her oily 1950s throw back acolytes at the now infamous gathering at the Botleigh Grange Hotel in 2002.
Like David Owen before him, Blair set the stage for further Tory ascendancies.